News that activity in the merger and acquisition sector in Northern Ireland has climbed over the last year is surprising.
Initial sceptisim raised suggestions the reason behind the rise in corporate takeovers was that the decline in the economy prompted plenty of distressed business sales, but further investigation proves that's not true.
Instead, the big deals we've seen over the last few months have been strategic, where buyers have spotted companies here which are doing well and want a piece of the action, or vice versa, where indiginous companies expanded by buying others.
More surprisingly, we're one of only three regions in the UK where the number of deals has risen.
No matter that we're down the bottom of the league when it comes to the value of deals - that was always going to be the case - because the ramp up in activity is a ringing endorsement of the endeavour of our businesses in such tough times.
And they are tough, as the actions of the Bank of England and the European Central Bank show.
Certainly new car sales for Northern Ireland, a fairly accurate picture of the mood of consumers, suggest there's not a great deal of optimism out there and that hasn't been changed by Mervyn King's injection of cash.
The worrying aspect of such action is that although the extension to quantative easing is bound to help the economy, by taking such drastic action the Bank of England is revealing how worried it is about the current situation.